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Monterey County Art & Culture Digest

Creative Architecture Thrives in Los Angeles


With its hilly terrain, parts of Los Angeles aren’t always the easiest to build in. But that didn’t stop an architect from building a unique structure in Silver Lake.

A Major California Paper That’s Now Alden-Owned Might Be Dying


The San Diego Union-Tribune, which has operated for 154 years, sold to controversial Alden Global Capital last year. It’s not looking great for the paper’s future.

Remembering Robert Irwin: Influential Artist Dies at 95


Robert Irwin, an artist and MacArthur genius grant recipient, died in San Diego at 95 on Oct. 25. Michael Govan, who heads the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, offers a colorful retrospective on Irwin's work.

Food, Race, Empacadoras, and Everything in Between


Looking at a dearth of accessible textbooks reflecting the diversity of Chicano/Latino/Mexican American/Latinx lives, two local professors set out to write one.

California State Parks and Partners Launch ‘Arts in California Parks’ Program


Through this new program, artists, culture bearers, and California Native American tribes will be eligible to receive funding to create artwork throughout state and local parks.

Graphic Novel Illustrates Plight of Mountain Lions


Written by Center for Biological Diversity scientist Tiffany Yap and illustrated by artist Meital Smith, “Tales of the Urban Wild: A Puma’s Journey” takes the reader through diverse habitats, across busy freeways and inside science labs to learn about one mountain lion’s survival story.

Makerspace Hours Cut Short Despite Popularity


The Makerspace at CSUMB is packed with students eager to express their creativity. While it’s one of the most popular resources on campus, it struggles to keep up with demand due to a lack of funding.

Big Expectations


Ritchie Lovejoy wrote a novel more than 80 years ago, and he was able to do it because of John Steinbeck’s faith in his talent. That novel, “Taku Wind,” finally got published last month, albeit in a very limited edition—24 copies.

Mural Magic


Salinas, in the heart of California's agricultural landscape, has been a magnet for murals for several decades. Breathtaking new ones have just been added to three freeway underpasses.

K-Squid to Celebrate Expanded Reach to Listeners in the Monterey Bay Area


KSQD, the community radio station run by Natural Bridges Media, successfully fundraised to purchase two new radio licenses.

2023 CSUMB Grad Starting Nonprofit Art Gallery


When Libbie Jameson noticed a lack of recognition for California State University, Monterey Bay students’ creativity, she came up with a business plan to serve local artists.

Brad Pitt Moving to Carmel After Selling L.A. Compound


Could Pitt's plans for 'a peaceful life' including spending time at Seaward, the castle-like, oceanside home he purchased in the Carmel Highlands last summer?

Makerspace Only Guaranteed Through May


The Makerspace is one of the most popular destinations for students to visit on the CSUMB campus, yet each year they face funding challenges.

The Star of His Own Film


Actor Pepe Serna is not a household name. Yet he’s appeared in more than 100 films and 300 TV shows—a career chronicled in “Life is Art,” a 2022 documentary featured during the opening event of the Watsonville Film Festival on March 3.

K-Squid to Hit Monterey County Airwaves


The radio station is operated by the nonprofit Natural Bridges Media but its original signal at 90.7 FM does not reach all of Santa Cruz County. Capital funding will now allow it to reach even further.

Graphic Novel 'Bipolar Bear' Tackles Sensitive Topics


Theodore is smarter than the average bear. But even he has one hell of a time trying to navigate the health care system.

Community Radio Station KSQD in Santa Cruz Seeks Signal Expansion


KSQD's current frequency contour stretches from Santa Cruz to Aptos. The expansion could reach audiences in Watsonville, Hollister, Prunedale, Monterey, Carmel, Salinas and beyond.

California Hall of Fame 15th Class Selected


Gov. Gavin Newsom and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom recently joined the California Museum in announcing the 15th class of inductees into the California Hall of Fame. They join 138 Californians previously inducted for embodying the state’s innovative spirit.

Music, Cannabis Festival at Laguna Seca Taking Shape


One possible feature will be a “silent disco” where attendees will wear headphones and the music will be streamed to them so the sounds won’t impact the areas surrounding Laguna Seca.

Dennis Renault: Celebrating the Man Who Poked Fun at Politics


Just about anyone who has seen Dennis Renault’s political cartoons might have considered him brash, bold, maybe even brave. But he was also charming, thoughtful, funny, and handsome, said Marty Renault, his Salinas High School sweetheart and wife who, on Oct. 19, lost her husband to what she considers a “freak accident.” He was 86.

Incarcerated Firefighters Come to Prime Time on ‘Fire Country’


Though their diminished numbers hamper local wildfire response, real-life incarcerated firefighters are still on the front lines in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties.

KGO 810 News-Talk Radio Replaced by Sports-Gambling Station


The 810 frequency on the AM radio dial, where, regional residents tuned in for the news of the day, has begun a new era: coverage of gambling on sports. Station owner Cumulus Media unveiled the new station on Oct. 10, with 810 AM now called “The Spread.”

Native American Activist Sacheen Littlefeather Dies at 75


Sacheen Littlefeather, the Native American actress who declined Marlon Brandon’s Oscar in 1973, has died. Littlefeather, who was Apache and Yaqui and born Nov. 14, 1946 in Salinas, died “peacefully at home” in Marin County.

An Association That Shaped Carmel Celebrates 95 Years


This year marks the 95th anniversary of the Carmel Art Association—the second oldest continuously operating artist cooperative in the nation and the oldest west of the Mississippi.

Pebble Beach Authors and Ideas Festival Returns for 16th Year


The Pebble Beach Authors and Ideas Festival will return Sept. 23, bringing top authors and speakers to the peninsula. Jim McGillenco-founded the festival with his wife, Cynthia. “Initially we thought we were only going to do it one year ... now we’re going into 16,” he said.

Pacific Repertory Theatre Celebrates 40th Anniversary


Pacific Repertory Theatre founder Stephen Moorer began his love affair with the performing arts at Carmel’s Forest Theater. And the company he founded on a shoestring now owns the Golden Bough Playhouse and manages the Forest Theater complex.

Monterey Woman Paralyzed in Crash to Be Subject of Disney Movie


Chelsie Hill, a former student at Pacific Grove High School, has signed a movie deal with Walt Disney Pictures for a movie loosely inspired by her life. The drama follows a 17-year-old, disabled dancer who gets a big break at a premier dance company.

County Bars Return of Junipero Serra Statue


The Jo Mora sculpture of St. Junipero Serra that was removed in June 2020 has been handed over to the Carmel Woods Neighborhood Association. However, it would be illegal for the group to return the statue to its former location, according to Monterey County counsel Leslie Girard.

Boat Steinbeck Made Famous Is Headed Home


If all goes according to plan, a boat immortalized in novels by John Steinbeck will make its return to Monterey Bay sometime in September—after a seven-year rehabilitation process. It will be repurposed as a floating classroom and research vessel.

Luis Valdez Talks about His New Book, and His Legacy


At home in San Juan Bautista, where he’s lived for the better part of his life, playwright Luis Valdez is working on his autobiography just after publishing the first book he’s written to describe the philosophy behind El Teatro Campesino.

Local Authors Share Techniques of Compassionate Communication


Lee Garland and Dr. Arnie Buss, two students of Selwa Said’s Monterey-based courses on “heart-aware communication” have published “Hear, Here,” a book that will help readers develop an understanding of effective communication techniques and how to apply them.

Palenke Founder Juan Sánchez Honored for Teaching Art to Peninsula Youth


Helping other people’s kids awaken to a new passion is how Juan Sánchez, the married father of three creative kids, enriches his own life. He spends much of his time in a converted locker room at Seaside’s Martin Luther King Elementary School, now home to his nonprofit multicultural arts organization.